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The IEA Believes Oman Could Become A World Leader In Hydrogen

Oman could turn into one of the biggest hydrogen suppliers in the world, the International Energy Agency has forecast in a recent report.

The tiny Gulf sultanate currently generates some 60% of its export earnings from oil and gas but has set itself ambitious net-zero targets that would involve leveraging its low-carbon energy potential, which the IEA notes is significant.

Natural gas accounts for almost all of the country’s electricity generation, the agency also noted, but this is about to change as it utilizes its wind and solar capacity. The same capacity will be used to produce green hydrogen from desalinated sea water, the IEA said, turning Oman into the sixth-largest exporter of hydrogen globally by 2030.

Oman plans to be producing 1 million tons of so-called green hydrogen by 2030, further expanding that to 3.75 million tons annually five years later and to 8.5 million tons annually by 2050.

Currently, the country exports a fraction of that amount in the form of ammonia, which is considered by many to be the best form of hydrogen for long-distance transportation. Oman’s annual export rate right now is some 200,000 tons of ammonia.

The IEA says this needs to rise 20 to 30 times for Oman to become a big hydrogen exporter.

“The most economically rational action for us is to embark on using this as the most viable and sustainable energy of tomorrow, including decarbonising power generation, local industry and hydrogen production for export,” the Energy Minister of the sultanate said, as quoted by The National, in comments on the IEA forecast.

For Oman to turn into a big green hydrogen player, however, it would need to invest heavily in building all the wind and solar capacity such a strategy would require. The IEA estimated that it would need some 50 TWh of electricity to produce the hydrogen it wants to produce in 2030. This is more than Oman’s total electricity output at the moment, the agency pointed out.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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